By Humphrey Carter AS expected, there was a highly emotional welcome for the first contingent of Balearic troops to return from Bosnia where they have been taking part in the United Nations peace mission since January. The first 85 soldiers touched down in a charter flight from Dubrovnik at Son San Joan airport base just after 4pm. They were met by joyous families, friends, children and loved ones and floods of tears. There was also an official reception committee headed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Balearics José Emilio Roldán. He saluted his troops and told them, on behalf of the Balearics and Spain, he was extremely proud of the work that has been carried out by all of the soldiers on the Balearic-led peace mission to Bosnia. The mission has been based at Mostar airport and has focused its attention primarily on helping the community, military and security forces in and around Mostar. However a detachment has also been based at the international headquarters in Sarajevo. For many of the soldiers, the worst thing about being part of the European Union-led Operación Althea peace mission was home sickness. The four month deployment is the first ever to have been led by Balearic military command and many of the families left behind spoke of how they did their best to “keep busy” throughout the deployment. Others however told of the heartache and worry. But, now back on Balearic soil, both the families and soldiers alike are proud of the work which has been carried out.” Commander-in-Chief José Emilio Roldán told the contingent of troops, before they were given permission to stand down and greet their anxious families and loved ones “We (the armed forces) are extremely proud and very pleased. We have shown that we are as trained and prepared as any other regiment and what is more, there have been no accidents or incidents. You've done a good job,” he said. Roldán also said that now Balearic command has demonstrated its capabilities, more deployments of this kind are expected in the future. On May 11, once all the Balearic soldiers have returned home and been replaced by a contingent from Ciudad de Melilla, there will be a welcome home ceremony held at General Asensio barracks.